My work examines the identity of housewives, and the homes they cared for, as depicted through advertisements from 1930-1959.
The role of the housewife in society has evolved drastically over the last 60 years. Many contributing factors have forced us to rethink the identity of the housewife. As an artist, I enjoy exploring the role of the 1930-1950’s housewife in ways that can help me forge my own identity as a wife and mother.
What makes a house a home? Is it the wife-charged with its upkeep, or is it the outside structure defining the property? My work explores the identity of both the “HOUSE + WIFE.”
Advertising gave a voice to the wife’s social identity – a voice, not her voice. In a male driven business, advertisements were primarily written and created with a male undertone. As a graphic designer and professor of graphic design, I use the language of advertising copy in my artwork to manipulate social messages that once bombarded women – reversing their intended meanings.
An epitome of Americana sixty years ago was the white picket fence. With the House Next To… series, I use encaustic wax to bind layers of wax to retro-collaged advertisements in the shape of individual picket fence planks. The wax’s materialistic qualities provide a nostalgic-like feel of a simpler time. My intent is for viewers to look at the collaged advertisements reinterpreted… ultimately challenging the messages that once socially defined her.
Glave Kocen Gallery - Richmond, Virginia